Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)
TITLE: Release the Past, Reach for the Future
By Sandra Eastridge
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“You’ll be lonely living here without Dad.”
“The house is too big.
“At your age it’s too much work.”
“It’s time for you to take life easy.”
On and on they begged her to move from the family home. But what she heard them say was—“give up all that you and Dad collected over the years; move from the home you and Dad shared; become somebody without responsibilities (somebody no one needs).”
She could not understand how her children could be so thoughtless. Oh she knew they meant well but should not the decision to up root her whole life be something she decided to do, something she wanted to do? Did not they realize it was to this house she came as a bride? Here she raised seven children and a passel of grandchildren. To leave meant their family had no home place to return to on holidays and family gatherings. Young folks today just had no sense of tradition. The time might come when she would not have a choice in the matter and if that time came then she would agree to give up her home but not before.
In desperation she prayed, “Lord please make my children see that I don’t want to leave my home and live in some strange place. I’m comfortable here. I want to stay and take care of my flowers, my yard and my house. I finally have it just the way I want it. I worked hard to get it just so and now they expect me to callously walk away. Well, I can’t do it, I just can’t!”
Oh, we should never tell the Lord that we will not do something when he has other plans for us. First the old lady began losing the joy and pride she had once felt in her home and possessions. She began to realize she did not have the energy to keep up with it all. Still, her possessions were a symbol of who she was or at least of who she had once been. Therefore she reasoned she must hang on to these things—“her” things.
The children continued in their efforts to talk her into moving to a smaller place, perhaps even to a retirement center. Why the very thought of such a thing made her shudder. In no way was she going to move into a “home” with a bunch of old people sitting around playing cards. She did not even like cards. Still, she spent so much time taking care of her things she began to feel like she belonged to them rather than the other way around. Maybe if she did not have so much to do she would have time for some of the things she had always dreamed of doing like take some classes, learn to paint or learn a new craft. She thought how nice it would be to spend time relaxing with a new hobby, or reading, or listening to beautiful music. Maybe she would have the time to join the community choir, something she had wanted to do for years.
This kind of thinking sparked her imagination and opened her mind allowing God to speak to her spirit. He told her that no matter how tightly she held onto her earthly possessions she would not be taking any of them to Heaven. It was time for her to let go of her past and live for her future, making whatever changes were deemed necessary for a full and satisfying tomorrow.
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